In which Tolle' barely makes Finley, ND

Apr 30, 2007
Having had bogging problems and an all around loss of power, I tore into things in an attempt to find out whether or not my top end was shot.

With a few hints from another 105 owner at the track, we deemed it to be severely worn and slightly chipped reeds. I mean, carbon fiber is hot as all get out, but my poor used to be hot little carbon fiber petals were uglier than a faded and lumpy magenta sweater. Grody!

Instead of trying to sand the block smooth, and hoping that the clearances would be absolutely perfect (not a chance!), I opted to drop the cash for an entirely new setup. I also figured that it would be a good reward for sobering up during the workdays.

7 bottles worth of Capt' Black Cask worth of carbon fiber goodness (and three sets of gloves that were on clearance for three bucks) showed up on my parent's doorstep four days later. I was especially stoked about the gloves, as they fit perfectly!

I set out to put the bike back together, but ended up helping out the dad with some work on the house they are remodeling. He recommended that I wait to put things back together so he could help out with the trickier bits of putting the radiator hose back in place. On my bike, it folds right over one of the bolts that holds the bracket in place, and I believe that it was placed there for the sole purpose of making the designing engineers laugh at the thought of all the struggles that CR85 owners would encounter when trying to replace their reed valves.

"Bastige engineers, you are all bastiges!"

I held off putting things together, and that went on for a full week until the night before raceday. I also ended up with bronchitus and a double ear infection the week before. It hung around for quite a while before I got over it.

I ended up having to work late, which was really quite miserable. My ears were killing me from the loud music I was blasting to try drown out the sounds of both the pickup engine, and the hydraulic systems I was using (hole in the floor of a turbodiesel makes for a ridiculously loud day). I was feeling downright naseaus (never could spell that) by the time I got home, and finally parked in the driveway.

Before I even got the door open to get out, my phone blasted the loudest the most annoying metallica song I could find, and I picked it up, trying to figure out who would be calling me at 10pm.

"Ahhh yea. So I'm in town, and was filling my washer fluid resevoir. Except, I dumped it in the coolent overflow tank by accident. Can you come into town and bring your tools so I can pull it off and dump it out?"

I wasn't stoked on that idea. The caller was a friend of mine, who has two problems: 1 - he doesn't know anyone else in the area just yet, and 2 - he is never a quick conversation. The rescue mission would take all of ten minutes, but getting out of there would take two hours, and two hours it did take.

Add in an hours worth of drive time, and I was home by 1am. There was to be no help with the bike, so I went over to the shop (also the place where I'm staying during the duration of my homeless period), and began putting things together.

It took a lot longer than planned to find every bolt and part. It would seem that my brother had cleaned up the shop, and moved things from where I had left them. An hour later, I had things all found, and in half an hour I had made a great deal of progress.

Then I made the mistake of sitting down on the padded creeper, and the even worse mistake of laying down on it...

...quite suddenly, I was jerked into wakefullness by the sounds of Metallica raging from the right pocket of my jeans.


There was a pause and a confusion and then I sat bolt upright with the realization that it was daylight outside I had to leave in 20 minutes for my race. In doing so, I solidly smacked my head against the pipe that was 1/4 installed on the bike (I took one last peek at the piston and cylinder through the exhaust).


"OW! head."

In near panic, I started throwing pieces back on. I decided that bolts could be torqued at the pits, and tightened things by feel (not going overboard though). I tossed everything in the back of my brother's pickup, and headed West.

I made it there one minute before registration closed.

I hurriedly unloaded, and started checking bolts with the torque wrench, and finally got everything buttoned down properly in time for the driver's meeting. To my surprise, one of our seriously injured riders was there, and standing under his own power. The last I had heard, he didn't have the greatest chances of walking ever again. He said a few words to us, and they were very meaningful words. He wasn't going fast or doing anything crazy when he went down, but the result was very grave.

I geared up, and threw a prayer to the Big Guy Upstairs that the Mini would run, and run it did. I didn't have time for a victory dance, but I am pretty sure quite a few people saw me hug my bike with a huge grin on my face.

I felt pretty good rolling through the pits on my way to the practice line. I know the track fairly well, and I felt confident about the terrain even though I hadn't walked it. I finally got the point and go, and I dropped the clutch.

The front wheel came right up, and we rocketed out into the first corner. Things were kinda tacky in places, but the rest was almost perfect. Coming into the first corner, I felt bold and happy, and slung a foot out in goon style, dumping the clutch with a loud whoop.

The result was pretty disarming, and the difference in power was stunning. The rear wheel whipped right out and I was soon holding on for dear life, discharging my outriggers to keep the bike from swapping over. I had barely enough time to inhale and let out a quick "SUH-WEET MAN ALIVE THIS THING IS FAST!!!!"

I hit the next two singles with speed, hanging loose from the bike in ultra aggressive goon style, and enjoying it completely. I slowed for the tabletop finish, knowing that it had kicker tendencies. I enjoyed the brief lofty sensation before braking hard for the following double.

I found a mudhole in the middle, and nearly flopped things right over, but a few outrigger extensions saved me from that incident. A few corners later, I heard a thumper raging up behind me, and I prepared for it's passage. It happened right in a corner with two "walls" as I like to call them. There is no easy way over them, except to slow down, and hop and use the outriggers.

I tried to get over them quickly, so I wouldn't have to deal with a big bike tipping over on me, but I wasn't quite careful enough. The rear wheel whipped out on me again (still wasn't used to the crisp reaction of the throttle instead of that mushy bogging), and I went directly off the track...oops. In the process, I got roosted straight from a mud hole, with my mouth open.

The rest of practice was fairly uneventful except for a couple more unexpected track exits. They left me giggling, and grinning like a little fool. I made my way back to the pits, trying to brush the clumps of mud off as I went. I was covered in mud from helmet to alpinestars, and it felt good!

The first moto rolled around, and I wasn't totally ready, but got a fantastic start. Taking roost from the 2 thumpers right in front of me hurt like a bastidge, but I put my head down and held the throttle hard, finally chopping it off for a half second when the front wheel reared up too high.

I was third into the corner, right behind the 250s, in front of the remaining big bike, and rider 801, who was also on a supermini. I raged over the wall, and into the whoops, handling the Mini through them as quickly as I could. I was pretty stoked to be in front of that remaining 250. She usually beats me into the first corner, and is out of sight within a few more corners.

I held her off for a couple of corners, and I felt on top of the world. My turns were going fast, the bike was fast, and I felt fast. Even though she passed me shortly thereafter, I had accomplished something.

The rest of the moto went just as well. I stayed in front of #801 by a little ways, instead of her tailing me and passing as usual. When the checkered flag waved, I was relieved. I felt weak and shakey instead of the usual sensation of just being tired. My forearms had cemented and as I pulled off the track my knuckles and wrists started hurting in an ugly way.

It did damage my invincible feeling, but I was still feeling content from the ride. I dismounted at my pit area, but took a minute, just leaning against the bike to collect myself before lifting it onto the stand. How many hours of sleep had I even gotten? 3 or 4 at very most? The past two weeks hadn't treated me that well either, with very little sleep and long work days. I guess being that sick had taken a pretty good toll on me too.

When I'd had my two moments' rest, I set the Mini on the stand, and pulled off my my gloves and helmet. I discovered that I had made a small bunch of fans.

"WE SAW YOU RIDE!!!!!" was accompanied by a half dozen sets of thumbs pointing up. They were pretty sauced up for it being 10am, but they were very interested in the racing and what all was going on. I had given them a short rundown of what was supposed to happen when they had driven up and parked next to me, and they were putting the knowledge to thorough use.

I turned around to see a guy and his wife approaching with purpose. I thought they were headed for the food stand just short ways away, but I was asked, "Are you Bethany?"

I blinked stupidly for a second as several thoughts ran though my head. "Oh geeze...What did I screw up?" followed by "Please don't let this be something embarassing that I forgot."

I hesitantly replied that I was indeed the person he was looking for.

"Hi, I'm Chili from Dirt Rider dot Net."

It took me a second to process that one too, but we had a quick chat and Again, it was good to put another face to a name here on DRN! Thanks for stopping by to say hi, and for the encouraging words! :cool:

I bummed around between motos, finding out that "taco in a bag" is one of the coolest things ever!

My second moto was a little less smooth. The track had gone from perfect dirt to dust bowl, and I was just plain old tired. The Mini was outriding me, and I was almost too shot to hang on. Two laps in, I had to sit down just to stay with the bike. I realized quite suddenly that I had forgot to put the hip armor back in after washing my gear.

This horrific realization was spurred by the sensation of my butt hanging partially out of my pants. :whoa: Being a normal chick, I dropped one side of the handlebars and grabbed a handful of my pants to yank them back up.

Beings as I had let go, I didn't get my hand back on the clutch enough to make the corner. I went over the berm, squealed like a little girl, and recovered my act just enough to keep the Mini from finding the deeper washout that was mere inches away from my front tire.

Hopefully no one saw that. It was embarassing, and really really funny.

I didn't crash, but I was not riding smooth or fast at all. I was worn out, and entirely so, but still giggling over untimely pants incident.

The race was over, and I felt good again. My drunken fans laughed and gave me the thumbs up again. I loaded up, and congratulated the winner of the moto. I headed back East, and slept almost the entire evening.

Life is good.


Lifetime Sponsor - Photog Moderator
Apr 9, 2002
Great recap of the day. I thought you rode well, you are definitely at a disadvantage horsepower wise out there and on that track the start is everything. For me it was a fun day with nothing to do but race and having no photography obligations for a change. We stuck around and had a great time around the campfire Saturday night with about 20-30 others who also camped out for the night.


Lifetime Sponsor - Photog Moderator
Apr 9, 2002
The mighty mini in action!




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